HARRISBURG – More professionals who make minor mistakes now can have a second chance by clearing their disciplinary records after a bill introduced by Sen. Jarrett Coleman (R-16) recently was signed into law.
“The new law will enable more professionals who make small mistakes to enjoy a second chance,” Coleman said. “This law recognizes we’re all human and all make mistakes, but one minor error doesn’t have to define a professional for his or her entire career. Punishing a professional for a lifetime for a minor mistake can hamper a person’s career without benefitting our society.”
Act 65 of 2023 – previously Coleman’s Senate Bill 910 – expands the ability of the commissioner of the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to clear a professional’s disciplinary record.
The bureau commissioner under prior law could expunge a disciplinary record for two reasons – if the infraction was due to a failure to complete continuing education requirements, or if the discipline was related to practicing for six months or less on a lapsed or expired license, registration, certificate or permit. Other minor infractions previously could remain on a professional’s disciplinary record for life.
The new law enables the commissioner to clear more professionals’ records if the disciplinary incidents meet a number of criteria, including:
- The incident had to take place five or more years ago.
- The incident must be the professional’s only disciplinary record with a licensing board or commission under the commissioner’s jurisdiction.
- The licensee cannot be the subject of an active investigation related to professional conduct. The licensee may not be in the disciplinary process by having a revoked or suspended license or be on probation.
- The professional must have paid any fees, fines or civil penalties imposed during a disciplinary proceeding.
- The licensee may not have had a disciplinary record previously expunged by the commissioner.
“This new law will continue to hold accountable repeat offenders while offering a fresh start to people who make a minor mistake,” Coleman said. “The law protects the public against repeat offenders without excessively punishing someone who made a clerical error years ago.”
Senate Bill 910 was unanimously approved by the Senate and House prior to being signed into law by the governor Dec. 14.
The new law takes effect in 60 days.
Residents who want to learn more about Coleman can visit his website at www.SenatorColeman.com, follow him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SenatorJarrettColeman and sign up for email newsletters at www.SenatorColeman.com/eNewsletters.
CONTACT: Leo Knepper